COVID-19 restrictions have added more pressure and volatility on the Australian hospitality industry. Organising staff rosters – and maximising their productivity – is just one aspect of a business that relies on predictability, stability and forecasting capabilities. It can be challenging in a relatively uninterrupted environment; doing so in the midst of profound disruption may require even more resilience, resourcefulness and the right systems at hand.
ResDiary Head of Sales Australia & New Zealand Kathryn Breeze has worked closely with people from the hospitality industry, as the reservation platform is “built by restaurateurs for restaurateurs.” She says hospitality venues have always struggled with staff management, and these issues have been exacerbated by a lack of candidates due to COVID-19 restrictions.
But, she says reservation platforms like ResDiary can help to manage some staffing challenges.
“In the last 18 months we’ve watched the world change in many ways and at ResDiary, alongside our restaurants, we’ve been going through a journey of ever evolving challenges. The one thing that stands out across almost all areas of the industry is that innovation is key [and] restaurants are adapting every day,” Breeze says.
“With ResDiary you can use future Bookings Reports, EPOS integration, Customer information and other features to help manage efficient rostering and staff productivity. [You can also use] the Group Central Reservation feature to send staff between different hospitality venues.”
Here’s a few ways that hospitality venues can use ResDiary to coordinate, and make best use out of their staff roster.
Previous and upcoming reservation data
ResDiary offers a range of customisable reports based on data automatically inputted to the system. According to Breeze, these reports can be used to help forecast future bookings, which can provide critical context for rostering.
“Our inbuilt reporting tools [can help] to work out busy times of the day, and busy days of the week,” Breeze says.
“Knowing how many bookings and covers you have scheduled for the day/week/month ahead allows you to know how many staff members to have rostered for those given days.”
Pre-payments, deposits, discounts and time-slots
Organising staff rosters can be difficult even when bookings are locked in ahead of time. When customers don’t show up – or tables aren’t occupied –
the process becomes even more challenging. It can lead to over-staffing, and rostering hesitancy.
Breeze says there are multiple ResDiary features that can help to minimise no-shows, and draw more bums on seats.
“Credit card guarantees and prepayments can reduce no-shows and ensure [your venue isn’t] over-staffed. Increased usage of the credit-card pre-payment feature in a post-COVID environment could lead up to a 75 per cent** reduction in no-shows,” she says.
“Leave-by times [can also] maximise bums on seats. Turning tables is so important, so set seating times will help to increase covers [and ensure] staff productivity throughout service.”
Hospitality venues may also need staff for when the going gets busy; during lunch breaks and other rush hours. But, outside of those peak-hours, staff might be underutilised. ResDiary’s variable price promotion enables venues to adjust prices during off-peak periods. This may induce customers to attend the venue, and help to minimise those slower periods throughout the day.
ResDiary records a range of customer records that provide more context for bookings, including: whether patrons have dined at a venue, when they last dined, where they sat, what they ordered, average spend and so on. Depending on the relationship between patrons and staff, the make-up of different bookings can be as important as the number of bookings in determining shifts.
The data provided through a reservation diary or workforce platform can help to ease pressures related to staff rostering. There are a range of features that can help to determine how many staff members to roster on, which staff members to roster on, and how to bring the best out of them.
** Data source: From April 1st 2021, ResDiary Australia booking data captured a decrease in no shows up to 75% in New South Wales and Queensland.
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business